Good news about energy

The Long News: stories that might still matter fifty, or a hundred, or ten thousand years from now.

It’s obvious energy will be one of the great challenges of this century. But it’s possible to hope that the current BP oil spill might help prompt a broader conversation about possible alternatives.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been looking for stories about the future of energy, running a News Hunt with the help of social news site NewsTrust.

There was good news on many fronts – we found a lot of high quality journalism; we had great participation from a large number of NewsTrust and Long Now Foundation members, bringing in news sources from around the world; and finally, there was a surprising amount of good news in the news stories themselves, as you’ll read below.

To quote Alexander Rose: “Looking back over what came out of the Energy News Hunt I found that I learned not only more about energy, but a lot more about the way it is covered by the press. I am reminded how rare it is to see a story that contextualizes new energy technology in the overall picture. Crowd-sourcing is a tricky and nuanced business. NewsTrust did a great job framing and directing the efforts of its contributors to yield high quality stories.”

For an excellent summary of everything we learned, visit the NewsTrust blog here.

For a quick overview, here are some of the best recent news stories we found about the future of energy:

1. Solar: Here comes the sun

European dream of desert energy takes shape

The rise of big solar: growing pains

2. Wind: The answer, my friend

How Texas lassoed the wind

Bottled wind could be as constant as coal

3. Nuclear: The news on nukes

The future of nuclear power

The nuclear option is back on the table

4. Geothermal: I feel the earth move

Joining the energy underground: residential geothermal power systems

Using carbon dioxide to extract geothermal energy

5. Biofuels: What’s it all about, algae?

Algae to solve the Pentagon’s jet fuel problem

Exxon bets $600 million on algae biofuel despite doubters

6. Fusion: You are my sunshine

Laser fusion test results raise energy hopes

This machine might* save the world

7. Oil: Not all the news is good

Lasting menace: gulf oil-spill disaster likely to exert environmental harm for decades

Think gas is too pricey? Think again.

Finally, we’d like to thank the folks at NewsTrust for helping pull this together, particularly their terrific team: Fabrice Florin, Kaizar Campwala, Jon Mitchell, Beth Wellington, and Mike La Bonte. We invite you to visit, where you can join NewsTrust to comment on stories yourself.

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The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

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